CHESTERFIELD: Paul Cook has defence problem to solve for Cup tie

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Defensive cover for Saturday’s FA Cup tie at home to Hartlepool United will be high on Paul Cook’s priority list today.

Spireites manager is taking a closer look in training today at former Sheffield United and Doncaster Rovers centre half Oscar Radford. The 20-year-old, with no league experience, has recently been with Kettering Town and played the full 90 minutes in Chesterfield’s reserve reversal against Hull City on Tuesday, Tigers won 4-2.

With Sam Hird suspended and Neal Trotman picking up an injury in the second string fixture, Terrell Forbes is the only available senior player with central defensive duties firmly in his repertoire.

Youth teamer Jack Broadhead has been a non-playing sub this season and midfielder Craig Clay has played in the heart of defence in several reserve fixtures, but neither has any first team experience in that role.

Former loan player Josh Thompson, borrowed from Celtic last season, has been made available by his current club, financially-troubled Portsmouth, and he could be brought in on a short term basis. The club is certainly aware of his availability.

Left back Liam Ridehalgh will be replaced by Nathan Smith, the former has been barred from playing in the game by parent club Huddersfield Town along with midfielder Chris Atkinson.

Luis Boa Morte (groin), plus hamstring victims Mark Allott and Marc Richards will all be absent though keeper Tommy Lee could return after his shoulder injury.

Spireites will be looking for their first FA Cup victory over league opposition since beating Wrexham in the quarter finals back in 1997, the year they lost in the semi-final replay to Middlesbrough.